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Moncho Alvarado

Taco Tuesday

Today is the tenth thousandth seven hundredth and seventh day I’ve been alive
Again guys in polo shirts with khakis ask for cups of water
just buy a small drink it’s only a dollar
even people waiting outside of Home Depot pay

Senior citizens call me Jose
or Wan
my name is Jesus for Christ sake

In the afternoon Devin comes by
smells like baby wipes and blue cheese
his hands reek of metal
jingles a coffee cup of dead leaders
he asks how it feels preparing foreign food

At midnight lonely people in their cars eat twelve tacos
I pick up brown bags and empty wrappers
everything eaten but the shells

After cooking six hundred and fifty five chicken soft tacos
a quote greases in my head
I cannot remember the books I read
like the meals I have eaten
even so
they have made me

The next morning lightning struck our store
everything went plasma
I saw roots in the sky
stuck between two worlds

Moncho Alvarado is a Mexican-American poet, translator, and educator. Their poems have been published in The Academy of American Poets website, Mikrokosmos Journal, Acentos Review, Chaparral, and other publications. They are a recipient of fellowships from Poets House, Troika House, the Summer Seminar at Sarah Lawrence College, and won the Academy of American Poet’s John B. Santoianni award for excellence in poetry. They received an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, where they were awarded the Thomas Lux Scholarship for dedication to teaching, demonstrated through writing workshops with youths in Sunnyside Community Services in Queens, New York. Born and raised in Pacoima, California, they currently live in Brooklyn, New York, where they teach literature and creative writing.

See full list of 2018 Emerging Poets Fellows